Co-op store plans get the go-ahead

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HAXEY can have a new Co-op store in spite of objectors’ fear that it will have a profound negative effect on the village, North Lincolnshire planners have decided.

The member-owned Lincolnshire Co-operative Society has been given permission to build a store on the site of the former garage on High Street, which is to be open from 7am to 10pm throughout the week.

Isle member Coun William Eckhardt, who lives in Haxey, said the development was too large and in the wrong place, basing objections on the traffic volumes it would create, and the impact on existing retailers.

“The increase in traffic would be untenable. The development is on a junction, and the village hall is opposite, with its own traffic. It will have a profound effect on the village.”

He was also fearful of the impact on existing businesses. “We don’t need another food store. The shop closest to it is owned by an experienced retailer. I would urge the committee to reflect on the effect on the village as a whole, and I urge you to reject the application.”

But Coun John England said any refusal would have to be for good reason. He said: “Objections on the grounds of highway problems are not sustained, and competition with other businesses is not a material planning consideration.”

Coun John Collinson said he thought Haxey would have welcomed the development. “We hear of communities dying because of the loss of facilities; I would have thought this would help to sustain the area.”

The Lincolnshire Co-operative Society’s Project Manager Chris Glover pointed out that his company operated the store in Misterton, but not the one in Epworth. He said: “We are not the same as other retailers. The profits we make go back into the community through dividends and grants to charities.

“We felt Haxey and Westwoodside needed an extra food retailer, and this site is in the best possible location. It will offer ‘top-up’ shopping, and we have tried to create a design in keeping with the rest of the village to blend in with the area. We want to give an attractive and comfortable site to shop.”

The store, which will create two full-time and a dozen part-time jobs, will have 17 car parking spaces on the site. Delivery lorries will unload on the site, rather than by parking at the road side.

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